- Business and Employment
Ten Steps For Building Your Business
The First Step Is Always The Hardest One
Entrepreneurship is an exciting and adrenaline pumping industry where your one wrong move could make or break your business. With so much competition our there, and so many people trying to bring you down before you even start, it's a wonder any start-ups are able to get established at all.
With that being said though, the hardest part is getting started. So sit back and get comfy as we take you through the 10 steps you should consider taking in order to thrive in today's crowded market.
1: Write It Down
The quickest way to fail is to attack the market head on without a plan. Writing down your strategy, business plan and milestone goals to reference during the busy times will not only keep you on track but allow you form your business to conform to how you originally envisioned it.
If you're having trouble getting the list started, try these three questions:
- What is it?
- What do I get?
- How do I get it?
2. Research, Research, Research
Probably the most straightforward part of this list, and the least interesting. Research is crucial though if you want to succeed. You should be researching your competitors, the market you're going into aswell as research how the prices of the product or service have changed over time. Also, take note of hardships other companies have come across and create a contingency plan to get around those roadblocks smoothly.
3:Make Something That Will Create Buzz
The market is flooded, we already told you that. It's filled with people trying to half-ass their way into a quick buck. That's not you though. When you're creating your startup, make sure that whatever your doing solves a problem. Any problem big or small, just make sure it solves it.
You can market until your blue in the face and the banks run dry, but people still won't be interested in your product unless it solves a problem.
Food for thought...
4: Get A Website Up And Running
You've done the brainstorming, you have your plan. You're prepared to enter into the crazy world of entrepreneurship.
Now you need a website.
Websites don't have to be expensive, but they're sure as hell required if you're going to be a contestant in the market. Tons of domain sites will sell you a domain for dirt cheap. The quality is all the same too, all that differs is the technical pieces that allow you to design and create your page. Some websites have tools for that, but the cheaper ones typically don't.
If you don't want to deal with it yourself (this is not recommended), Elance and Odesk are both good tools to use to outsource your project.
5: Automation Is Key
With the fast paced, overwhelmingly busy way we do business today, you're going to need some automation to help out with that. Whether you want AI to have most of the control, or still have a human hand in all of the deals, the level of automation is up to you. We highly recommend automating the little things that tend to slip your mind. Like automatic emails, or upsell attempts.
You want to put yourself in your customer's shoes, when is it acceptable for an automated offer or message to pop up during their visit? Does it make sense to have anything here? Should we have an automatic thank you screen? Stuff like that, that you definitely won't be able to keep up to manually.
6: Funnel Those Sales
If you don't know what sales funnel is, essentially it's a hierarchy of the steps taken from the first contact with the product or service, all the way down to the transaction. Small tools available for your email or website will help keep track of who sits where in the funnel, and potentially allow you to approach them and make the sale.
7: Email Opt In - Get One
You're going to need an email service. Once you get said email service, you're going to want to make sure you have your email plastered all over the internet. Forums, post-boards, social media, you name it, your email should be on it. This not only grows your contact base but allows your mailing list to be updated via newsletters with what you're doing and how you're getting there.
Remember, your business is nothing without people. Never turn people down.
8: Social Media
Do you know how many times I hear a business owner outright refuse to have social media? Do you know how bad I just those people? Social media has become the heart and soul of our society. Without social media, I'm sorry to say, but you're a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things.Not only is social media used by hundreds of millions of people, it serves as a free platform where you can get your name out and have people start purchasing from you.
Go get Facebook and Instagram. Please.
Content is the life that you pump into your social media pages. Content is kind of like food. If it's stale, drab or tasteless, people won't ingest it.
If your food is fresh, unique and full of flavor, people will devour it with passion, and probably even share it with their friends, who will also devour it and share the quality content. The cycle goes on and on. You get the point.
Don't have dry, crappy content.
10: Shoot, Move and Communicate
While doing battle with the market, your competitors and the business world altogether, its best to adapt on the fly. Take your mistakes and learn from them. Nobody learned to swim on the first day, and neither will you learn how to become a millionaire within your first month. Take your mistakes and learn from them, as in the end, what is life if not a little trial and error.